Federer, Djokovic Drops Sets But Advance At French Open; Monfils v Fognini Saturday
by Staff | May 30th, 2014, 3:42 pm

After two blowout matches, both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic dropped sets on Friday at the French Open. The two favorites from the bottom half still advanced comfortably into the fourth round.

Playing concurrently, Federer was first to finish off Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4 in 3:07 to reach his 12th French Open fourth round.

“At the start of my career, clay was not my favourite surface,” said Federer. “I got my best results in indoor courts or hard courts, so people thought at that time that I was only a fast-court player. But that’s not the case, so I’m very happy with this record, and I’m enjoying it.”

Tursunov, who need treatment for a second set groin injury, hung tough and pushed Federer throughout the match.

“Good for him that he was able to figure out what bothers me and kind of build his game plan around that,” the Russian said. “He’s a tough player to play against when you’re healthy, so definitely makes thing a little bit tougher.”

The Swiss now takes aim Sunday at the hot-handed Ernests Gulbis who won his seventh straight match defeating Radek Stepanek.

“Clearly he has to be confident after winning a tournament last week and now backing it up again here this week and cruising through, really,” said Federer of Gulbis. “I’m aware of the challenge ahead of me, and difficult match I think because I have had some tough matches with him in the past.”

Djokovic wrapped up Marin Cilic shortly after Federer. The Serb who is seeking a career Slam this week also needed four sets to put away Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4. It’s the ninth straight win for Djokovic over the Croat, but this was probably the toughest.

“Physically I had to work very hard, because he was very aggressive,” said Djokovic. “It wasn’t easy, because once you start being passive, you lose kind of the confidence to step in. That’s what happened maybe in the end of the third and little bit of the fourth.

“In important moments I held my nerves and I’m very happy that I went through.”

Djokovic now has a rematch with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Frenchmen won his third straight set match of the event.

Other winners were John Isner who never dropped serve against Tommy Robredo in a four set win to reach his first French Open fourth round. Tomas Berdych also was a winner.

And in a late match, Milos Raonic continued his strong clay campaign knocking out French favorite Gilles Simon in 7-5 in the fifth set.

In the women’s field, Ajla Tomljanovic continued the wave of new stars beating No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4. Radwanska’s exit means no Top 3 seeds made the final 16 at a Slam for the first time in the Open Era.

“After seeing the two first seeds go out, (I) feel like I can do this too. I grew up with these girls that are beating them… Obviously, you respect everyone, but you don’t fear anyone,” Tomljanovic said. “This year I’ve been in a few situations where I was up and didn’t execute so I wanted to make it right this time.”

Maria Sharapova notched another double bagel, she’ll now take on former finalist Sam Stosur on Sunday. And Genie Bouchard continued her hot run as did Serena-conqueror Garbine Muguruza.

“I believe this is one of her favorite surfaces to play on and a lot of her successes come on clay,” Sharapova said of Stosur. “Despite my record against her and my victory a few weeks ago, this is a new match. I’m sure she will be ready for the match against me, and so will I. I look forward to that challenge. She has a great serve, she uses the court extremely well, moves well on it. It’s a good matchup.”

On tomorrow, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray return as does Richard Gasquet who takes on Fernando Verdasco. In the big match, the zany duo of Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini clash.

“Play against him, I mean, it’s difficult, especially here in Paris, because he’s always play good,” said the Italian who leads Monfils 3-2. “Sometimes in the court I lost my mind, but that’s part of our sport. The good part of our sport, I think.”

Fognini beat Monfils in an epic second rounder in 2010.

For the women, Sloane Stephens, Simona Halep, Ana Ivanovic and former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova are in action.

Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00 AM Start
Petra Kvitova (CZE)[5] vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[27]
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[1] vs. Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Andrea Petkovic (GER)[28] vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Richard Gasquet (FRA)[12] vs. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[24]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 11:00 AM Start
Sloane Stephens (USA)[15] vs. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)[22]
Lucie Safarova (CZE)[23] vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[11]
Gael Monfils (FRA)[23] vs. Fabio Fognini (ITA)[14]
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)[28] vs. Andy Murray (GBR)[7]

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Fognini Ends Nadal’s Rio Run; Simon v Monfils In Marseille Finale; Young Seeks First Title In Delray
Isner, Monfils Withdraw From Auckland; Will The Frenchman Play The Australian Open?
Dent Upsets Seed, TV Coverage Begins at Sony Ericsson Open in Miami
Gael Monfils: I Want To Win A Big Title, The French Open Is My Dream

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68 Comments for Federer, Djokovic Drops Sets But Advance At French Open; Monfils v Fognini Saturday

Humble Rafa Says:

I saw Saturday’s matches on Friday. Benefits you get for being Humble.

Hippy Chic Says:

Correct me if im wrong but tomorrows shedual should have been todays shedual,those matches have been and gone?

Hippy Chic Says:

^Sorry schedule^….

Guppa Says:

Federer vs Gublis

This is a very intresting match up!

Humble Rafa Says:

Happy Chic,

If you want to be the 2nd in line to Xisca, you have to watch your spelling. Outrageous spelling errors, twice in one sentence, is unacceptable – even to a third-grade level English speaker like me, no?

skeezer Says:

3rd grade? Aren’t you being arrogant? So much for humble.

RZ Says:

Fed broke yet another record with his match win today: He has now reached the 4th round of RG more times than anyone else (12 total; Vilas is second with 11). http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2014/05/22/Roland-Garros-Friday-Federer-Gulbis.aspx

Tennis Fan Says:

HumbleRafa the most arrogant of the bunch … pretty soon Rafa will have something to fill humble about …

Tennis Fan Says:

… and by the way .. a break through match for Raonic today … this guy’s the real deal. I predict he will be the first of the “under 26” generation to take the next slam … can’t wait.

M Says:

Tennis Fan, I don’t know about that – these young guns seem to me so much less consistent, but I’m a FEDAL fan so I’m going by a platinum standard.

But I know Milos has been working very very hard to improve on the clay … and I heard very impressive things about his performance today (he was the higher seed, even if Gilles is French *smile*).

M Says:

“Federer vs Gulbis”

Is this the first time they’ve played?

skeezer Says:


Bad Knee Rules Says:

I don’t like Gulbis’ personality, but his tennis is pretty good these days. He’s already beaten Federer on clay:

2010 Madrid Masters QF Clay Roger Federer Ernests Gulbis 3-6 6-1 6-4
2010 Rome Masters R32 Clay Ernests Gulbis Roger Federer 2-6 6-1 7-5
2010 Doha QF Hard Roger Federer Ernests Gulbis 6-2 4-6 6-4

Steve 27 Says:

Richie will end Federers qf streak on sunday

skeezer Says:

^rafafanatics hopin wishin prayin Fed fails at every turn. LMAO.
Read 6:29 post. The train keeps a comin.

gonzalowski Says:

Be calm Fedbots, Robredo is out now :)

Steve 27 Says:

With Richie, I will enrich a little.

madmax Says:

So it’s 2:1 Federer v Gulbis.


Hippy Chic Says:

Humble Rafa sorry i will watch my spelling,if i am to have any chance with your humble highness,funnily enough its the second time this week that my spelling errors have come under scrutiny,obviously spelling is not my strong forte….

Hippy Chic Says:

Steve 27 eh Gasquets not even in Rogers half of the draw?….

Josh Says:

Rafa using Mayer as practice for the second week. I don’t see him being threatened until the quarter finals.

Hippy Chic Says:

Josh well the second set has been quite competitive,he was cruising,but he aint now….

gannu Says:

Nadal’s draw is a joke..ultimate joke…

wonder how long his luck will last with such super cushy draws

Giles Says:

Yes gannu, the French love him so much that they gave him a “super cushy” draw!!! Lol

Josh Says:

Hippy Chic nevertheless it’s been a pretty good performance so far. The only parts of his game which might worry him are the serve and the second serve return. He’s been broken at least 4 times, and as for the return, because he stands so far back I think he’s going for too much topspin and is playing the ball short

Hippy Chic Says:

Gannu as your a Federer fan,why dont you enjoy watching him,as hes playing some sublime tennis,rather than wasting nervous energy worrying about Rafa and the draw,sure Rafa has a chushy draw,but all players get them at times,and hes won the title 8 times,so you could put him on a court blindfolded,on crutches,with one leg broken,rolling skating on treacle,and would still beat anyone in the draw more often than not,will he win it this year i dont know,as age and the law of averages are begining to catch up with him,but surely now hes nothing left to prove anyway,why not just enjoy the tennis and see what unfolds,as life as they say is full of surprises????

Hippy Chic Says:

Josh yeah true i have no expectations,one match at a time for me,if he wins it then ill be delighted if not then hes had an amazing run,ill accept whatever happens either way….

metan Says:

Alison, lol!
You still remember his post few years back about Rafa. This dude everyday must eat bitter gourd.

Hippy Chic Says:

Dont get me wrong as im not denying he has an easy draw?but i think the only way people would be happy is if he beat Roger,Andy,Novak,Stan,Delpo,Berdych,Ferrer over 5 set with all four sets been tie breaks,and then the final sets winning 16/14,then and only then its possible people would not complain about his bloody draw….

Susan Says:

To gannu, you are allowed to say your opinion. Dont worry about. We hear alot about law of average and age as much as easy draw.

Hippy Chic Says:

^I dont believe anyone was saying otherwise,i was giving my opinion about his opinion is all^….

Hippy Chic Says:

I think to say that the age thing and law of averages is a reasonable enough thing to say anyway,not all fans are arrogant enough to expect him to win it every year regardless of a cushy draw?jeez…

Hippy Chic Says:

Anyway anyone watching Fabio and Gael?….

Giles Says:

Cardinal rule on this forum. Thou shalt not attack a Fedfan!!! Lol

Hippy Chic Says:

I wasnt attacking….

Gordon Says:

Draw shmaw!

It’s not BIG BOY Tennis until you get to the final 8; that’s 4 victories for 8 guys who deserve to have a crack at the title. Let’s look at how the draw unfolded as it relates to Rafa –

Nadal is #1 of course and Djokovic is #2 so naturally they can only meet in the final.

Wawrinka is #3 and Federer is #4. Sure Wawrinka is out but when the draw first came out, who would you have given the best chance of defeating Rafa – Wawa, who gives Nadal a difficult match or Federer, who knows he will probably lose to Rafa in clay?

Ferrer is #5 and Berdych is #6. Again, you have Ferrer who has beaten Nadal on clay this year and you have Berdych who does not have the game to compete with the Spaniard.

Murray is #7 and Raonic is #8. The way these two have played may be a pick-em right now, but when the draw came out did every Rafa fan not wish it was Raonic on Nadal’s half of the draw?

So the draw, as set up, does not favour Rafa when you get to the meat of the matter; the problem is you have to win 4 matches to get there, and the only one of the above who has not still playing is Wawrinka. Why? He lost, so he doesn’t deserve to be there.

To win Roland Garros again Rafa is going to face 3 tougher opponents than what he has so far and if he defeats them then good for him. Being seeded number one gives you plumbers in the first 3 matches; did anyone really think Rafa was going to be challenged before the quarters?

It is then the fun will start. Bring it on.

Dan Martin Says:

This has been an odd tournament and Monfils-Fognini was like a bad movie that had so many plot twists it became entertaining. I have a lot of content up at http://tennisabides.com

senorita Says:

RZ Says:
Fed broke yet another record with his match win today: He has now reached the 4th round of RG more times than anyone else (12 total; Vilas is second with 11).”

12 4th round and he’s only won it once……….tut, tut.

WTF Says:

If Djokovic defends his points from last year (losing at SF) but Nadal doesn’t win (loses in F), I believe Djokovic becomes world #1, despite not holding any slam titles.

WTF Says:

“Wawrinka is #3 and Federer is #4. Sure Wawrinka is out but when the draw first came out, who would you have given the best chance of defeating Rafa – Wawa, who gives Nadal a difficult match or Federer, who knows he will probably lose to Rafa in clay?”

Look at their head to heads. Wawa has never taken a set off Rafa in something like 12 games until the AO this year. That was when Rafa hurt his back. If they met at the French, it would have been no contest.

Fed on the other hand has beaten Rafa at least 10 times, some of those wins coming on clay.

Hippy Chic Says:

Gordon,WTF thanks for using some perspective when it comes to the draws,especially as some of us had started going on a rant,especially yours truely….

senorita Says:

WTF Says:
“Wawrinka is #3 and Federer is #4. Sure Wawrinka is out but when the draw first came out, who would you have given the best chance of defeating Rafa – Wawa, who gives Nadal a difficult match or Federer, who knows he will probably lose to Rafa in clay?”

What are you talking about. Stan never took a set off Rafa in 12 matches and what happened in Australia was due to Rafa’s injury. At least Fed has beaten Rafa 10 times.

Tennis Fan Says:

There is huge turnover coming at the top of men’s tennis over the next 2 years:
Rafa turns 29 in 1.1 yrs and his game will already turning down … Djokovic and Murray have a year on him and therefore probably only 1-2 yrs of relevance max. The only top 25 ranked players under 27 are:
Del Potro age 25
Raonic age 23
Nishikori age 24
Dimitrov age 23
Gulbis age 25
Dolgopolov age 25
Janowicz age 23

… of the bunch I would say that Raonic, Gulbis, Dimitrov, Nishikori, Dolgopolov would be my favourites to make something happen .. and in that order. Delpo seems to be out all the time with injuries.

So the clock is ticking … and the ageing seniors at the top ain’t got more than 2 seasons left … max IMO

Hippy Chic Says:

Tennis Fan thats a fair asessment(hope i spelt that correctly lol),im wondering if Rafa might call it a day after the Olympics in 2016,as he has stated he wants to play then,and i think thats realistic with the physical style he plays?especially with Rio been on clay too,IMO i dont think he would pass up a chance of another gold medal on clay?and Roger has no intention of retiring any time soon even after that either….

Josh Says:

Could be bad news for Rafa and his fans: apparently his back flared up during the match with Mayer earlier today – he admitted that he’s still got a few problems with it when asked why his serve speed dropped off in the third set.

Okiegal Says:

I think this group of aging seniors can beat this group of aging juniors for a long time. Look what old, old Fed is doing…….holding his own…..Age is only a number………but we eventually have to take into consideration the age of the bones, imo! Good luck to the old dogs……want to watch them forever…….even if they lose once in awhile!


Andy owns this one……Good for him!

Okiegal Says:


Had not heard that about his back……not good! I wondered how it would hold up having to play that 3rd set, and maybe more?? We will see.

Chic, sure as I bragged on Andy, he just got broken. I Will, in the future, keep my big mouth shut! Lol

Hippy Chic Says:

Josh your scaring me,i hope its just damage limitation….

calmdownplease Says:

`Djokovic and Murray have a year on him and therefore probably only 1-2 yrs of relevance max`

And just who is going to hand them their asses during their dotage? Don’t see anyone doing it.
Bar injury Novak and Andy have at least another 4 years around the top.

calmdownplease Says:

Looking at just the age of players is an insufficient to predict their lifespan now.
a. There is their tennis age to take into account.
b. Due to the demands of thetour Tennis players are getting older before they achieve anything.

calmdownplease Says:


Josh Says:

@Hippy Chic & Okiegal: I too hope it’s nothing very serious, his team will be working on it as there are tough matches to come. Rafa is a master of playing through the pain barrier

calmdownplease Says:

very sloppyfrom murray if he doesnt shape quickly up he could still lose this match.

Hippy Chic Says:

CDP i think the thing is at 28 years of age its traditional for players to start falling off their perches,Roger is the exception to that particular rule,but its unusual for players to win GS after that age….

Polo Says:

It’s very frustrating to watch Murray. He always starts by getting an early lead then keeps losing it. Much as I like him, this kind of play will not make me feel sorry for him if he loses.

calmdownplease Says:

Agreed, if anything it might be good for him to be taught another lesson.
The match was his and he simply let it go.

calmdownplease Says:

`CDP i think the thing is at 28 years of age its traditional for players to start falling off their perches,Roger is the exception to that particular rule,but its unusual for players to win GS after that age.

Yes when they were replaced by up and coming whippersnappers, many of which are only 3 years younger than Novak and Andy and dont have a masters between them.
Where are the teen grandslam winners now?
Events have conspired against them and you will see the tour start to get older.
I’m sorry but the mileage of Nadal is like 250 more matches on the tour than Andy.
Its not just `a year` in tennis terms at all.

calmdownplease Says:

Having said that Raonic is 369 tour matches behind Andy at this stage.
I think his time will come, but it will be quite a few years from now yet.

Polo Says:

It’s time to put Murray out of his misery.

calmdownplease Says:

Andy is digging deep
although it still feels like he will lose

calmdownplease Says:

Oh well, another day, a chance of a fresh start. One has to favour Andy.
As long as he starts aggressively.

Okiegal Says:


I read on another site that they caught a glimpse of black tape on his back. I didn’t notice it…..but having to play an extra set and possibly more couldn’t help an ailing back for sure. I’m sure lots of rehab on his day off…..Hope is not too serious, but having to take something off the serve won’t help his game.

Tennis Fan Says:

Calm down “calmdownplease” … I guess I hit I raw note when I pointed out that virtually all the top guys on tour are pushing 28+ … the point at which players no longer win slams.

I don’t know what injections Nadal is using in his knees to keep them from flaring up .. but it looks like the back may now be going.

Murray hasn’t looked right to me since his back surgery.

Wait ’till Djokovic’s kid arrives late this year …

… yes … it won’t be long know. There aint no 4 years … 1 or 2 at most

Daniel Says:

Agree regarding tennis age. A few years ago peak years for a tennis player was 24-26. Now I think is 26-28.
But one thing is true. After 28 everybody starts to fade, exception was Agassi (who had a sabatical) and Fed.

Steve27 Says:

Daniel, if you mean in the ranking yes but in grand slam titles, absolutely you are wrong.
Only Agassi is the exception.

madmax Says:

I have full confidence in Murray coming through. He will.

Giles Says:
Cardinal rule on this forum. Thou shalt not attack a Fedfan!!! Lol

May 31st, 2014 at 11:52 am

Then Giles, why do you always break the rules? You give your more than fair share of rubbishing fed here, after a seemingly “I’ll try harder”.

Alison, your posts are very, very fair.

Hippy Chic Says:

Thankyou Madmax….

Tennis lover Says:

Bad sign for Maestro if he doesn’t cut down his UE and improve his return game. Hope, he makes it right. Lately, his backhand again seems to have a let down in his game. Gulbis is not gonna surrender his game as Tusanov did..GO Fed…While, Gulbis may loose because of his hubris..

Top story: Andy Murray Withdraws From Cologne Due To Pelvic Injury